Family Court Act, Article 3, Juvenile Delinquency Part 4, § 343.3: Rules of evidence; identification by means of previous recognition in absence of present identification

In order for a minor who is accused of committing a crime to be adjudged delinquent, a fact-finding hearing must be held in Family Court. In order to ensure that the accused minor is treated fairly, there are several rules related to what type of evidence is admissible, including rules related to identification. Under New York Family Court Act, Article 3, Juvenile Delinquency, Part 4, § 343.3, a witness may provide identification testimony of the accused minor if:

  1. The witness observed the person at the time and place of the commission of the crime or upon some other occasion relevant to the case; and
  2. On a subsequent occasion he observed a person whom he recognized as the same person whom he had observed on the first incriminating occasion; and
  3. The witness is unable at the proceeding to state, on the basis of present recollection, whether or not the respondent is the person in question; and
  4. It is established that the respondent is in fact the person whom the witness observed and recognized on the second occasion.
Example

John D faced a juvenile delinquency proceeding based on being accused of an act that if were committed by an adult would be burglary in the third degree. A witness who was walking in the area at the time of the incident testified that he observed John D. in exiting from the building where the burglary occurred around the time that burglary was believed to have occurred. However, the witness was unable to identify John D. from his photograph that was presented to him after the burglary and he was not able to identify John D. during the fact-finding hear. Under New York Family Court Act, Article 3, Juvenile Delinquency, Part 4, § 343.3, this witness' identification testimony would not be admissible.

Related Statutory Provision
  1. Rules of evidence; identification by means of previous recognition in addition to present identification: New York Family Court Act, Article 3, Juvenile Delinquency, Part 4, § 343.3
Remedy

Witness identification testimony can be challenged in a number of different ways depending on the circumstances of the case. If you can show that there is an issue of mistaken identity, or if there is alibi evidence, then you may be able to successfully challenge the witness' identification testimony.

Family Court Act, Article 4, Child Protective Services, Part 3, § 343.3: Rules of evidence; identification by means of previous recognition in absence of present identification
  1. In any juvenile delinquency proceeding in which the respondent's commission of a crime is in issue, testimony as provided in subdivision two may be given by a witness when:
    1. such witness testifies that: (i) he observed the person claimed by the presentment agency to be the respondent either at the time and place of the commission of the crime or upon some other occasion relevant to the case; and (ii) on a subsequent occasion he observed, under circumstances consistent with such rights as an accused person may derive under the constitution of this state or of the United States, a person whom he recognized as the same person whom he had observed on the first incriminating occasion; and (iii) he is unable at the proceeding to state, on the basis of present recollection, whether or not the respondent is the person in question; and
    2. it is established that the respondent is in fact the person whom the witness observed and recognized on the second occasion. Such fact may be established by testimony of another person or persons to whom the witness promptly declared his recognition on such occasion.
  2. Under circumstances prescribed in subdivision one, such witness may testify at the proceeding that the person whom he observed and recognized on the second occasion is the same person whom he observed on the first or incriminating occasion. Such testimony, together with the evidence that the respondent is in fact the person whom the witness observed and recognized on the second occasion, constitutes evidence in chief.
New York Juvenile Delinquency Lawyer

If your child has been accused of committing a crime, it is critical that your child has experienced representation. Juvenile delinquency procedure is complicated with special procedural rules that must be followed. The outcome of your child's case could have a significant impact on his or her future. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully representing juvenile clients in New York Family Court as well as in criminal court who have been accused of committing misdemeanors and felonies. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those involved in juvenile delinquency matters in the following locations:

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